Titan Comics adaptation of The Beatles Yellow Submarine will be out in August, and we’re sure news that specialist music films distributor Abramorama has agreed with Apple Corps Ltd. and Universal Music Group to re-release the animated feature film in North America in July, will help boost sales.
Debuting in 1968, the cult classic film is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and is also returning to cinemas across the UK on 8th July.
Longtime Bongo Comics creator and editor of MAD Magazine Bill Morrison, has written and illustrated the 120-page graphic novel, which will launch in hardback format, hitting comic shops and bookstores and targeting a wide age-range of Beatles fans from kids to adults.
Bill Morrison – a writer and artist of The Simpsons Comics – is a huge fan of The Beatles, for whom this has been a labour of love, some 20 years in the making.
The Beatles: Yellow Submarine (originally released in 1968) is an animated musical fantasy film inspired by the music of The Beatles. In it, Paul, John, George and Ringo agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music-hating Blue Meanies.
Directed by animation producer George Dunning, the film received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Since its original release, the movie has become a cornerstone of contemporary popular culture and has inspired generations of award-winning animators.
“The global launch of the first-ever Yellow Submarine graphic novel is a major cause for celebration in its own right, but, thanks to the stunning artwork and brilliant storytelling of Bill Morrison, this stands out even in the graphic novel market – a market known for high-quality output,” commented Caroline Mickler of Caroline Mickler Ltd, who manage the UK licensing programme for both The Beatles and Yellow Submarine (together with Apple Corps).
“The Beatles: Yellow Submarine official graphic novel adaptation is both true to the spirit of this classic piece of animation and a genuine work of art.”
“We’re thrilled to be publishing The Beatles: Yellow Submarine for the 50th Anniversary of this fantastic movie,” Chris Teather, publishing director at Titan Comics, said last year. “We can’t wait for Beatles fans to experience this official adaptation.”
A vast array of licensed merchandise already exists for Yellow Submarine. Games, toys, footwear, art prints and homewares are all available with designs inspired by the film’s rich and colourful imagery. The “All Together Now” collection features two versions of the band, as well as Blue Meanies, the Apple Bonker and the Four-Headed Bulldog.
If you’re a The Beatles fan, don’t forget Rebellion released a smashing collection of The Beatles Story first published in the weekly British comic Look-In earlier this year, written by Angus Allan and drawn by Arthur Ranson. The title charts the rise of The Beatles from their teens through to the band’s dissolution and is widely regarded as one of the best graphic adaptations of the band’s story. It’s certainly a version I’d recommend – Arthur Ranson’s work is simply fantastic.
(The digital edition for iPhone and iPad from ROK Comics is still available, too).
Indian publisher Campfire released The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays by award-winning comics author Jason Quinn, drawn by Sachin Nagar, in 2016, a title taking readers through the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, and The Beatles lives in Liverpool during the 1950s – journeying with them to Hamburg as they come of age and, through grit, determination and masses of talent, and became the lads who made the 1960s swing.
If you want an edgier Beatles story, however, then you should track down Vivek j. Tiwary’s award-winning The Fifth Beatle, released in 2013, the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided The Beatles. Brian himself died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two, having helped The Beatles prove through Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that pop music could be an inspirational art form.
He was homosexual when it was a felony to be so in the United Kingdom, Jewish at a time of anti-Semitism, and from Liverpool when it was considered just a dingy port town. It’s an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.
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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.